Sometimes reviewing Game Boy
games is a lot like assembly line work. You punch in, work your shift, and go home pretty
much the same as when you arrived. Your job consists of doing one thing over and over
again. At the beginning, it might actually be kind of interesting screwing toothpaste lids
onto the tubes. Initially there may actually be some sort of challenge in meeting your
quotas. But soon enough youve mastered the technique and your only hope of escaping
the monotony is by inducing a Zen like trance.
Playing MIB2 for the Game Boy Color is
like playing the dozens of Game Boy games that have come before it. There is nothing new
to gain from the experience; the most you can hope for is a mild diversion that
doesnt take too long to play through. MIB2 comes from the venerable (albeit
repetitive) tradition of the side scrolling shooter. Konami perfected this genre with
Contra in the mid-eighties, and no ones been able to match it since. So, it begs the
questionwhy bother making it in the first place? This isnt to say the MIB2 is
a bad game. Its not. As far as side scrolling shooters are concerned, its
actually pretty good. It has a variety of bad guys, fairly long levels, and a good
selection of weapons.
graphics and level design on MIB2 are as good as most things on the GBC. The characters
and levels are nicely detailed. You can choose to play as either Agent J or Agent K. The
only difference between the two characters being skin tone. Theyre the same height,
with the same weapon, and the same monotonous objectives to meet. You have a variety of
weapons to use throughout the game. Its no Metal Gear Solid in the weapons
department, but most players should be happy enough with what they have to choose from.
The levels are pretty similar to almost every side scrolling platform game out there.
Theres a heavy Mario Bros. influence to some of the levels. Lots of elevators from
which to jump on and off. Is it just me or have you noticed that no one ever seems to ask
the question, "Why is there an elevator there? It serves no discernable use."
Its just assumed that the elevator exists so that it can be jumped upon. (You can
see that I was a little bored by the game due to the fact that I was able to wax
existential about elevator placement while playing.)
The bosses themselves are entertaining enough to fight, and the variety of
weapons found throughout the game will satisfy most players. The controls for this game
are pretty solid too. I didnt find anything wrong with how the game handled. The
characters both jump high enough and far enough to avoid frustrating the gamer too much.
Its really hard to find anything new to say about this game because I feel like
Ive played it (and written about it) a dozen times before. MIB2 adds nothing to a
genre that was exhausted over a decade ago except for its franchise. If you want a new
side scrolling shooter for your GBC, you wont be disappointed by what the folks over
at Crave have to offer. But if youre looking for a new type of gaming experience,
you wont find it here.